6 STEPS TO ORGANIZED SWEATERS & WINTER GEAR

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Spring is around the corner, girl. It's time to edit your sweater and winter gear and get it organized. Here are 6 really simple steps to organize your sweaters, scarves, tee's turtlenecks, shoes, boots, and finding your way to a neat, stylish closet:

Step {1}: Prep.
Remove everything from your closet, drawer or space. I like to work on the floor, so I spread out a big blanket or sheet, which gives me space to edit, sort, pare down and stack by item type and color. It's also easier than working in a closet or drawer.

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Step {2}: Edit
You will never be organized if you have too much stuff or the proper systems. Pare down and separate what you will keep versus what you will donate. If you didn't wear an item all winter, you probably aren't going to next winter. This rule does not apply to special occasion pieces. Rule of thumb: Keep your best and donate the rest.

Step {3}: Separate, Fold, Stack + Take Count
* Fold and stack sweaters, tee's + turtlenecks and scarves by color, from dark to light. 
* Roll denim.
* Sort flats, heels, booties and boots.

* Take count on many bins, baskets, boxes or hangers you will need and make a list. Be sure to measure spaces you plan on using any of these items before shopping.

Step {4}: Go Shopping.
Sweaters can be stored in sweater boxes, clear zippered bags, bins, covered boxes, baskets, at the top of your closet using shelf dividers or using hanging sweater storage. Use the golden rule: All storage should coordinate.

Sweaters can be stored in sweater boxes, clear zippered bags, in bins, covered boxes, baskets, at the top of your closet using shelf dividers or using hanging sweater storage.
Use all the same color and style of hangers for a uniform look. It's the golden hanger rule. 
Bins + Baskets for sweaters, tee's + turtlenecks, scarves and denim.
Shelf dividers; Can also be used combined with or in place of bins + baskets.
Covered shoe boxes and boot boxes for flats, heels, booties and boots. 
Cedar Sweater boxes.
Clear Covered Sweater boxes.
Sweater bags; Zippered storage bags.
Lavender Cedar Blocks and Cedar Balls for clothing protection.
My new favorite shoe storage box is the Tall Shoe Box from The Container Store.
Cabo rustic wire bin from Design Ideas

Step {5}: Set it up + Style it
Create a color story. Coordinating hangers, bins, baskets and folding, stacking + rolling garments by color will give you a clean, neat and stylish look that makes it easier to maintain. Create your own DIY labels or tags. Labeling helps you to find what you're looking for.

Step {6}: Maintenance. 
Keep that feel good moment of a clean, well-organized space can last forever. Swap old items with new ones, never say "later" and create a donation bin for your closet. Drop donations off weekly.      

For the rest of the details, visit the Inspired Home.

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Need more space? Create it with storage cubes, designate it for your favorite go-to items and change it out by season.

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Are you ready to organize your sweaters and winter gear? Before spring fever hits, commit to an afternoon and make it happen!

xx, Deborah

Just ‘Say No’ to Junk Drawers

Having a kitchen junk drawer moment? Believe it or not it's a thing, and one that more of us struggle with than you might think. We looked to Beth Zeigler, LA based professional organizer and founder of the organizing service Bneato Bar, for some of her tips to help you find some of those items that have gone missing. Read on. You might just find yourself headed to the kitchen! xx, Deborah.

photo courtesy: Bneato Bar

Hi, Beth here. This may sound like crazy talk but I’m actually against having a junk drawer in the kitchen. Even if it is organized to a-T. Drawer space in the kitchen is often lacking - so that makes it a precious commodity in my book. When working in a client’s home, we often need another drawer to create kitchen organizational magic - which is why I advise my clients to say so long to their clutter catch-all.

Typically, things found in a junk drawer are belongings that don’t have a proper home. What should one do with a growing collection of wedding favors, a card from a friend, or a bag of wildflower seeds you eventually want to plant? Because you’re not sure these miscellaneous items end up in a kitchen drawer. Without realizing it, your junk drawer has bestowed upon you the gift of not having to make a decision on stuff that is most likely clutter.

Luckily, this miscellaneous mine field is bite-sized and can be whipped into shape in under an hour. Let’s tackle it together, shall we?!

*Expert tip; Before starting, remove distractions! Silence your cell phone to stay connected to the task at hand

  • First things first, what else could you store in this spot that would make your life so much better? Spend some time in your kitchen. Do you need to free up counter-space or cabinet space? Think about what category would fit best in the drawer space you are about to free up. In my house, drawers are great for;

    • Spices

    • Tea

    • Kitchen towels

    • Pot lids

    • Saran wrap, tin foil, Ziplock bags

    • Cooking utensils

*Expert tip; Get motivated! Music is a wonderful companion, especially the guilty pleasures!

  • Next, clear a space nearby to empty the entire contents of the drawer. You may want to lay down a sheet or paper towels on the counter-top or table to make cleanup easy.

  • Gather supplies; A sharpie and pack of Post-it notes are good to have on hand to label categories. A trash and recycle bin are helpful to quickly get rid of anything no longer needed.

  • Start sorting ‘like with like.’ All writing utensils in one spot, pads of paper in another, utility items like super glue and batteries in another, and so on and so forth. You might have other categories such as; ‘Give back to neighbor’, ‘repair broken toy’, or ‘find missing piece,’

  • Most of the categories you come across would prefer to have a permanent home. For example, the seeds to plant live best with gardening equipment in the garage. The card from a friend lives with memorabilia in the closet. I find that the stuff found in a junk drawer isn’t used on a daily basis therefore these items shouldn’t be taking up prime real estate in the kitchen.

  • The things I do find the most useful to keep close by; scissors, tape, a couple pens, and a pad of paper -- which can easily live in a magnetized fridge caddy or in a wall pocket on a kitchen door.

  • Once you know what new purpose this drawer will have, take measurements and photos of the category to be stored. Look online for inspiration and then go shopping (if needed) for containers.

Expert tip; Define your new normal. Commit to best practices to keep your de-cluttered space in order

Beth Penn of Bneato Bar will be conducting a decluttering workshop on email, paper and stuff on Saturday, September 10th with Poketo at The Line Hotel from 2-5 pm. Signups over on the Poketo website.

[ FIVE ] TIPS TO ORGANIZING YOUR ENTRYWAY

Happy Friday my beautiful OCD friends! While it's the weekend and time to relax, if you've been around me for even a minute, you probably already know there will be some kind of an organizing project going on here. I plan on re-arranging my craft supplies to make room for a new prop studio I'm creating. Stay tuned for more about that soon.

In the meantime, let's talk about entryways, how to organize and style them.

Clea Shearer | The Home Edit

Clea Shearer | The Home Edit

The entryway. The first impression as you walk in the door and depending on the season, the room filled with everything from beach towels to boots. Trust us, we've all been there. The key is, a place for everything and everything in it's place. Yes, a cliché, but quite frankly, it's what works. This entryway at the home of Clea Shearer, co-founder of The Home Edit has only what it needs. It's functional and neatly styled, just the way we like it.

Looking to organize + style your entryway? Here are 5 easy tips to get you there and some of our favorite entryways.

[ ONE ]. Clear. It. Out. And, we mean everything goes. You might create one big, giant mess, but by the time you finish this project, you should only have things that deserve space in your home or that you absolutely need. Create three areas. 1. Keep, 2. Re-purpose (the item must have a pre-determined place in your home), 3. Donate. This meaning, you're packing items to go out the door in the morning as you go through the editing process.

[ TWO ]. Get set with the proper tools. Everything must have a home or be contained. Do a walk-through and make a list with two columns. The first being what you 'have', the second column, what you 'need'. We're talking everything from a place for mail, keys, shoes, boots, grocery totes, umbrellas, a place to sit and a place to hang your hat(s). We also recommend a console table or floating shelf. Both provide a space to keep your keys in a pretty bowl or tray and and area to sort your mail. You can also line coordinating baskets underneath to store shoes, hats, gloves and slippers. Our big tip here: the entryway is not an office. Sort your mail at the door, keep only 'in and out' mail here, and put the rest to the mail system in your office.

[ THREE ]. Plan, measure, make a list and shop. In. That. Order. Not everyone has a budget for an interior designer or professional organizer, but don't be afraid to call for quotes. Some of the very best stylists and organizers are just starting out and are happy to have the work. And, if you have something to offer, there may be a collaboration or 'trade' in your future. If you're planning a DIY project, the first thing you should do is start a Pinterest board. Collect ideas for color inspiration, style, design, layout and products you love. Next, MEASURE, measure and measure again. Consider this the most important piece of any successful organizing project. You'll know exactly what size baskets, shelves, tables or other items to buy and how many of each. You'll also save time and the cost of store or online returns for those items that don't work out.

[ FOUR ]. Organize + style. In our world, styling has become as important as organizing. If you want your entryway to be Instagram and Pinterest ready, it's more than just getting the job done. It's editing, organizing books or other items by color, grouping like items together, including a pretty wallpaper or your favorite gift wrap to the back of shelving, color coordinating baskets and pulling in accent pieces.

[ FIVE } Make it your own. In addition to organizing items, work in a few home decor pieces to display your own personal style. A wall mirror or piece of art above the table, chest or shelf is an easy way to go. We love the approach Crafted Sparrow took with creating a wall gallery about her family. Did you already guess what the number '4' stands for? If you're not an artist by trade or hobby, see Rebecca's site for ideas. You can also add family photos, a lamp or two, seating or a bench, and of course, fresh flowers or succulents are always a good idea.

xx/deb + allie